best/worst thing that ever happened to her by ingridfnl

7 Mar

Lisa stared at the stick, disbelieving, resisting, accepting, crushed, happy, terrified, eager, hopeless, hopeful… She imagined telling her parents, her grandmother, her boss, her … professor who was also her lover.

She sat down on the bathroom mat and thought through everything that could be worse than now: this choice, this moment.

She imagined telling her future child that it was the best thing that ever happened. That John and her were brought together by this pregnancy. That she had spent a few years just raising her baby and then had gone back to school and finished, that motherhood had made her a better woman. She imagined this scenario was unlikely since in her heart she knew John did not love her.

She imagined her future without a child, working as a professor in a university much like this one. She imagined having traveled the world as a respected and well-known archeologist. She imagined that after years of single, strong independent living marrying someone like a carpenter and living in a rural farm. Finding a man who could build her a deck and sit with her on long evenings, the sound of crickets soothing them from the surrounding forest. They would not have children but they would have greyhounds from the greyhound rescue.

She imagined giving up this child for adoption and spending the rest of her life wondering about it. If it was happy. If it had good parents. If she had made a mistake.

She imagined keeping her child and working in Walmart. Scraping pennies together under the neon lights and struggling to give her child opportunity.

She imagined her parents’ disgust and disapproval. Their outright rejection which was inevitable if they knew. Her mother would remind her of her wasted life, of her lost opportunity and of her immorality. She would be as cold to this child as a grandmother as she had been as a mother.

She imagined her father’s initial shame but then gentle approval.

She imagined John denying until the paternity test she pursued as she fought for financial help. She imagined his cold hatred of her as he threw the demise of his marriage in her face, her aloneness and her weak explanations or lies to her child of its existence and of the absence of its father.

She imagined regret and opportunity regardless of what she chose next.


7 Responses to “best/worst thing that ever happened to her by ingridfnl”

  1. juleshg March 7, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    So many choices and so many ways for a life to change so drastically. I like the way you describe her life in the extremes: success and recognition as an archeologist vs. a job at Walmart. In that moment of discovery it is hard to imagine anything in the middle of the road.

    • ingridfnl March 9, 2010 at 11:10 am #

      Yeah, her irrational extremes reflect my own thinking when I’m panicked. As you said, hard to imagine anything middle of the road, which is how most things end up being. 🙂

  2. jadamthwaite March 7, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    I really like the idea of all these different scenarios – it really illustrates how many possibilities there are for a life. It’s sad though that none of them can turn out well here.

    • ingridfnl March 9, 2010 at 11:11 am #

      The format kind of emerged when I realized that this is how I think when I’m in a panic. I go through a slide-show of future possibilities in my head…

  3. jmforceton March 7, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    Very true to life. I appreciate your skill as a writer. Every paragraph being with “She imagined”, tying it all tighter together.

    • ingridfnl March 9, 2010 at 11:11 am #

      I wasn’t sure if it would work… so thank you for the feedback! I was afraid it might just sound overly repetitive.

  4. phoenix.writing March 14, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    I ended up writing something like this in another project I was working on, my MC going through the extremes and unable to come up with a workable middle; I sympathized a lot with Lisa trying to imagine all these possibilities and not being able to come out with one that’s simply *happy*.

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